Brent Marsh, who has worked in higher education student affairs for more than two decades, has been named the new assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Mississippi.
Marsh, who was serving as vice president for student affairs at Rogers State University, was selected after a nationwide search. He first got involved in student life administration as an assistant residence life coordinator during his senior year at Kansas State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1997.
“(It’s) an opportunity for which I’m ever grateful,” he said. “Within weeks, my eyes were opened to the prospect of doing student affairs work for a living. I knew this is the work I was called to, and I’ve never looked back.”
He later earned a master’s degree in college student personnel from Kansas State University in 1999 and a doctorate in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University in 2006.
A native of Emporia, Kansas, Marsh will start at UM on Aug. 1.
“In addition to being incredibly excited about the opportunity, I am both honored and humbled to be invited to join the Ole Miss community,” Marsh said. “A colleague whom I trust and admire commended me to the search firm, and upon researching the position and university further, it was evident to me that I would join a fantastic team of student affairs professionals.
“In addition, the level of student engagement and leadership coupled with excellent faculty made Ole Miss an incredibly attractive place to be.”
Marsh brings a wealth of experience and proven leadership to UM, said Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Marsh to the University of Mississippi,” she said. “Dr. Marsh’s positive energy and proven engagement with students, alongside his working knowledge of higher education, will help us expand our efforts related to fraternity and sorority life, as well as leadership and advocacy initiatives.”
Marsh will be responsible for supervisory oversight for the Ole Miss Student Union, UMatter: Student Support and Advocacy, the Office of Fraternal Leadership and Learning and the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct.
“Dr. Marsh demonstrated his deep knowledge and experiences with student issues during his interview, but more importantly, he was relatable and engaging with all participants,” Hephner LaBanc said. “He is relational, and that is Ole Miss. He will be visible and involved with students, keeping the student experience and learning at the forefront of all he does.
“Based on his references, it was clear that high-level collaboration is his strength. This role requires effective working relationships with many campus offices and alumni, so I know he will build proactive relationships.”
Before becoming vice president for student affairs at Rogers State University, Marsh was at Howard Payne University, where he held several positions, including dean of student life, assistant vice president for student life and dean of students, and vice president for student life and dean of students.
He also has worked in residence life and student affairs at McMurry University and Bowling Green State University.
It’s that previous experience and more that Marsh will use in his new position at UM.
“I aim to be a highly visible and engaged dean of students, striving to build relationships with students, colleagues, alumni, parents and community members,” Marsh said. “I look forward to collaborating with these groups to enhance the student experience in the renovated Ole Miss Student Union, fraternity and sorority life, student organizations and beyond.
“Working collectively, I hope to provide leadership in enhancing a welcoming and inclusive campus environment in which all students can succeed and thrive.”
By Shea Stewart